The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture officially releases August 1, but it’s available now on Amazon, and I’m so excited for it to be out in the world. This was a writing project unlike any I’ve worked on before. Here’s how:
1. It isn’t about me.
Up until this point, nearly every poem or essay I’ve written has been generated with the express purpose of seeking to “know thyself.” I have questions about how the world works and how I can move about in that same world, and writing essays and poems is my most direct entry into those questions. I love exploring the world (and my brain) through the written word.
But this book isn’t about me, it’s about the Bible, which I love and have explored like a new country for over half my life now. I have studied it fiercely, questioned it when my infant ideas of God shattered, and kept pursuing God through it during miscarriages, new job opportunities, marriage challenges, friendship erosions, temptations, cancer diagnoses, and motherhood. The God of the Bible saved me, and the words within draw me ever closer to this unimaginably large force that is Spirit, Creator, Helper, Redeemer, Lord, Lion, Servant, Lamb, Almighty Love with a capital L.
In order for this book to be successful, I needed to get myself out of the way, which is hard when you are so used to just saying what it is you think all the time.
2. It’s written for children.
Other than a couple of Sunday School curriculum pieces, this is the first time I’ve ever written for children, which required a whole new editorial lens. Clarity and brevity matter more here than the flowery flow and lyrical language sandbox where I usually play. Extended metaphors are right out (and they’re my faaaavorite). And yet the writing had to be compelling and engaging enough to hold the attention of 7-13 year olds. This is a whole new challenge.
I heard someone say at a festival that writing for children is a form of activism, and I feel that, deeply, when it comes to this book. I want my children and other children to read this work and discover powerful truths about God that may be difficult to uncover without a guide. Which leads me to…
3. It’s far less my writing and far more Bible.
One of the specific goals of this project was to immerse family members in the words of Scripture and give them a map to navigate the narrative of our faith, with as little opinion or interpretation or commentary as possible, just questions and fun facts and ways to engage with God in your daily life.
Note: I have opinions. Many of them.
Together with the help of my editor, I tried real hard to wring the writing free of any last droplets of theological opinions or heady meditations about God that are not directly evident from the text. I want readers to see how God reveals himself through his Word (and the many other ways he reveals himself – I imagine that my youngest son, for instance, will be a child who accesses God’s love best through Creation, with awe and wonder, and not through literature). I want readers to see how God interacts with people. I want readers to see how God has made himself available to us in the same way – to love, sure, but also to yell at, question, cry with, and be comforted by. That’s all there in his Word.
I hope you love this book, not because I wrote it (because like I just said, there’s actually not a lot of my own words here), but because it helps you and your family draw closer to God, to see who he is better and to enter into a deeper relationship with him.
Go forth, my 6-by-9, 240-page tour guide, and light up a path toward the brighter Light that shines. Illuminate the Word.
Order from Amazon.com, from other online booksellers, or if you’d like an autographed copy, you can also order from me for $15 plus shipping. 🙂